Arkansas: last bastion of the Southern Democrat poised to fall
Polls suggest that Arkansas' House contingent could flip from three Democrats to three Republicans Tuesday. One of the seats has been Democratic since Reconstruction.
Little Rock, Ark.
Arkansas hasn’t elected a Republican to its First Congressional District since the Reconstruction Era. In the Second Congressional District, which includes Little Rock, a Republican has been elected to the office only once since 1875.Skip to next paragraph
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Polls show Sen. Blanche Lincoln as many as 20 points behind her Republican opponent, Rep. John Boozman. Even some state constitutional offices, which have favored Democrats for decades, sit in the toss-up column. One of the only safe Democrats is popular Gov. Mike Beebe, who leads his GOP challenger by more than 30 points in some polls.
“The overarching Republican campaign tactic appears to be to tie Democratic nominees to the national Democratic party, the liberal label, and some controversial policies, symbolized by Obama, Pelosi, and Reid,” says Hal Bass, a political science professor at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark. “In this campaign season, Southern Democrats are having great difficulty separating themselves from their national party. That is something many Southern Democrats have been trying to do at least since the late 1930s.”
Two House seats in play
While the First and Second Congressional Districts are not similar demographically, both are open seats in a year that favors Republicans.